Newspapers have been the standard for news delivery for a while now, and their death has been predicted at the introduction of radio, television, and now, the internet.
But many people still like their newspapers.
In their State of the News Media report, the Pew Research Center said that 51% of people who read newspapers read only the print edition, as opposed to the desktop and mobile versions of the papers.
That number is falling, as 62% of newspaper readers read the print product only in 2011, but print papers are still a popular way of consuming news.
This does not however, mean that newspapers are prospering. Newspaper ad revenues have declined 8% since last year, while comparable revenues for cable TV news and digital ads grew by 10% and 20% respectively. Daily circulation of newspapers fell 7% since last year, the largest decline since 2010.
An even worse statistic for newspapers: just 5% of adults in the US listed a print newspaper as their “most helpful” source of news in the presidential election.
One big source of anxiety for many news outlets is the role tech companies have taken in news media.
“It has been evident for several years that the financial realities of the web are not friendly to news entities, whether legacy or digital only,” Pew reported. “There is money being made on the web, just not by news organisations.”
Companies like Facebook and Twitter allowed publishers to reach a wider audience, acting as partners for news outlets. Now, Pew is calling those relationships a “lifeline” for publishers, which may be a problem as some of these tech companies have come under fire for their news practices.
All this bad news has led to an overall decline in the number of newspapers. There are 126 fewer papers in 2014 then ten years earlier.
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